Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
04 Nov 22. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE: NOC) first Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) sensor was successfully installed on an E-7 Wedgetail Mk1 Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft for the UK’s Royal Air Force. Equipped with the MESA sensor the UK’s Wedgetail fleet will be strengthened with an airborne sensing capability at longer ranges, enabling critical early warning, surveillance and air battle management functionality.
“Northrop Grumman’s in-service, combat-proven MESA system already provides mission crews with advanced Airborne Moving Target Indication (MTI) capability to support NATO assurance missions against evolving threats,” said Jack Hawkins, director, MESA, Northrop Grumman. “This advanced MTI will enhance UK forces’ ability to simultaneously detect, track and identify airborne and maritime adversary targets at long range, while maintaining continuous surveillance of the operational area.”
Utilizing an active production line, Northrop Grumman’s MESA sensor provides warfighters with critical domain awareness in all weather conditions. With the flexibility to adapt to missions, threats and environments, this modern Airborne Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) sensor provides 360-degree situational awareness and can be optimized so operators can focus on priority missions, rapidly revisit targets, and pass relevant information to enable timely command and control decisions, and engagement of threats at long ranges.
Australia, Turkey and South Korea have fielded AEW&C systems, with production underway on the second and third systems for the UK’s E-7 Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft. To learn more about the MESA sensor, visit our website.
04 Nov 22. Censys Debuts Slayer Kinetic Killer C-UAS Drone.
Censys Technologies debuted the Slayer Kinetic Killer at the 59th Annual Association of Old Crows International Symposium and Convention. Slayer K2 was one of many Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) systems at AOC. However, what sets Slayer K2 apart is its unique approach to C-UAS the system takes. Overt Defense was able to speak with Censys Technologies Vice President of Quality and Safety Duke Samouce on the company’s new C-UAS system.
Slayer K2 is a C-UAS development based on Censys Technologies’ existing Sentaero BVLOS. The company’s civilian UAS becomes a loitering C-UAS drone, with the system intercepting threats by crashing into them. Duke touched on the origins of the concept.
“Censys Technologies has been in business for about five years now. In the past two years, we’ve developed what’s called Sentaero Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS). We use it a lot for utilities, long linear inspections of power lines, gas, oil, agriculture, mapping and search and rescue. We’ve have 12 different payloads that you can go into the aircraft and are swappable in the field, and one of them is a gimbal that has infrared and day optics. It can zoom in both EO and IR. So from those capabilities I’ve developed an aircraft pointing towards DoD (Department of Defense).”
Censys Technologies aims to use Sentaero BLVLOS’ State-of-the-Art Detect-and-Avoid System, which allows the drone to automatically avoid other aircraft, to detect and track UAS threats.
“We look for what the threat drones’ signature be it optical or IR. Once it picks it up, it’s actually very simple. It keeps it in the middle of the field of view (referring to the Slayer K2’s sensor) and keeps it in the middle or the FOV until it’s impacted. If it moves out of the center of FOV, SK2 just maneuvers to return it to the center.”
If Slayer K2 fails to intercept the first time, the drone can attempt to intercept the threat again.
“We may not get it the first time. I would like to think our percent kill would be 100% the first time but we’ll just retarget until we get it.”
Once detected and tracked, Slayer K2 will intercept by physically ramming the threat. Modifications to the Sentaero BVLOS for this mission include reinforcements to the airframe and a mounted blade.
“This is a counter UAS capability, reinforced leading edges, and vertical strike device. This aircraft with no explosives, flying at 50 knots and weighing 22 pounds has the kinetic energy of a 2245-pound impact. So we can take out very large drones.”
If the threat was intercepted and there were remaining Slayer K2s, the drones could be recovered for future use.
“SK2 can return to launch. If you launch more than one, and the first one takes the threat out with no more threats remaining, we’re not going to sacrifice the second SK2. You can give it a signal to come back and it’ll go back into its vertical rest and land. And that’s what these [Sentaero BVLOS] do. If you lose signal, they come back and land by themselves. If you get low on battery, they come back and land by themselves. It’s all very much autonomous.”
Duke noted the application of what Censys’ Slayer K2 would have, highlighting its role in a layered C-UAS network as the system could deal with UAS threats that other C-UAS defenses would struggle with.
“Counter UAS has to be a layered defense because you’ve have other capabilities here that might shoot nets, quadcopters might fly up and hit it, behind me they have an RF (radio frequency) transmitter that knocks them out. If the threat has RF for guidance. If the threat UAS is just using GPS for guidance RF jamming is not going to stop them. Unless you actually hit it, it’s not going to stop that drone. If it’s going to a grid point with 20 pounds of explosive on it, it’s going to get there. But a kinetic killer can take it out.”
The range that Slayer K2 brings to a network was highlighted too. With the drone being able to intercept at considerable distances, preventing potential collateral to the asset the system is protecting.
“Imagine your securing a nuclear power plant or any other critical infrastructure. You don’t want threat UAS’s to get so close, because you can have an explosion close to the plant. You want Slayers in their boxes North, East, South, and West of what is being protected. Wherever it’s (UAS) coming from. You want to launch from the closest SLAYER K2 pods to meet it 23+ miles out and take it out.”
When asked which categories of UAS Slayer K2 could take on, Duke stated that the system could deal with UAS threats up to Group 3.
“I would think up to a Tier 3 (Group 3) depending on how it hits it. So one, no problem. Two, no problem. Three, I believe the Iranian ones, with that amount of 3000 joules or 2245 foot-pounds of impact is gonna take out a Tier 3.”
Duke further elaborated on Slayer K2’s capabilities, referring to the Iranian HESA Shahed 136 loitering munitions currently being used in Ukraine as an example.
“The Iranian drones that are being used in Ukraine, this runs into it, it’ll take it out, runs in the back of it and it will take it out because it’ll take out the propeller. So it’s very effective.”
However, the speed of Slayer K2 at this iteration is not enough to catch up to drones like the Shahed. With Group 3 UAS threats going up to twice the speed of Slayer K2, Duke acknowledged that speed will be an issue. Censys Technologies is also working on a faster drone that will “bridge this (speed) performance gap.”
When asked about how lessons from Ukraine are influencing Slayer K2’s design, Duke highlighted the challenges of a GPS-denied environment and the use of the UAS for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance in addition to its C-UAS mission.
“Right now it’s the GPS-denied environment, alright. Because the Russians are jamming the crap out of everything over there. We (also) want to be able to operate SLAYER as an ISR (SLAYER ISR) element so that Ukrainians can use it to find where the Russians are, and they can return and use it over and over again.”
This was Slayer K2’s first appearance, with the drone on display being the first prototype and, subsequently, the system is still in the early stages of development. Information provided by Censys Technologies indicates that the drone’s mission planner and ability to operate in GPS-denied environments require further research and development. Duke also noted that Slayer K2 will remove components from the Sentaero BVLOS, as for C-UAS the drone will not need as many components compared to the civilian design.
“We’ve got a lot of interest. We’re gonna be going to a demonstration soon. This is the first time it’s ever been brought out. So we’ll build another one. Because the one-time use will have different aspects about it. It won’t have as many electronics and it may not even be painted.”
The ongoing Russian Invasion of Ukraine has peaked or at least enhanced, focus on C-UAS systems. At AOC 2022, many more C-UAS systems from microwaves, lasers, and jammers were on display compared to last year’s event. (Source: UAS VISION/Overt Defense)
27 Oct 22. Japan Prepares Delivery of Air Surveillance Radars to Philippines. Japan’s Embassy in the Philippines announced on 22 October 2022 that the government is in the process of transferring air surveillance radars to the Philippine government in its first major defense export.
The contract for three fixed long range and one mobile radar systems being produced by Mitsubishi Electric was executed by Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on 28 August 2022. The radars are being provided under the Horizon 2 Air Surveillance Radar System acquisition project in a government-to-government transaction valued at US$103.5 m.
Although the radar model was not indicated in the announcement it had been reported that the fixed sites might receive the improved version of the Mitsubishi Electric J/FPS-3 active electronically scanned array radar with the mobile system being the J/TPS-P14 radar.
The J/TPS-P-14 is an S-Band radar with a surveillance range of 400 km. The antenna mounted on a shelter with the system able to operate from a truck or ground.
The J/FPS-3 is an active phased array radar system employed by the Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASF- Koku-Jieitai). It offers enhanced detection and tracking capabilities when compared to conventional radar systems. Its array includes both long-range and short-range antennas.
The JASF has been training members of the Philippine Forces on operation, maintenance and support of the radars over the past months. The first radar for delivery was inspected by Philippine Air Force officials on 4 October in preparation for the turn-over. Philippine DND Public Affair Chief Arsenio Andolong explained in a public statement “these initiatives of the Japanese government in further strengthening the defense cooperation between the two allied countries. The air surveillance radar systems are part of the Philippine government’s efforts to further “develop, enhance and sustain our air and maritime domain awareness. They will play a critical role in monitoring our territory and airspace.
02 Nov 22. SOFEX NEWS: Middle East Allies Clamoring for U.S. Counter-Drone Tech. U.S. allies in the Central Command area of operations engaging the Army in foreign military sales are asking officials for more help countering unmanned aerial systems, a senior U.S. official based in the region said Nov. 2.
Conrad Bonner, director of Centcom regional operations for the Army’s Security Assistance Command, said by far the number one technology regional allies are asking for are systems that can eliminate drones.
“Right now … what everyone is looking for is counter-UAS. It’s a no-brainer,” he said speaking at the Association of the United States Army speaker’s corner at the SOFEX conference in Aqaba, Jordan. “For the countries that have integrated air and missile defense, it’s very expensive to shoot a UAV with a Patriot missile,” he said.
Technology for border security is the second most popular technology in demand, followed by interoperable communications systems, he said.
“We still have tons of requests for rotary-wing aircraft, heavy lift and utility, with Patriot [surface to air missiles] still high on the list,” he added.
About 62 percent of the Army’s share of foreign military sales comes from the Middle East and in a typical year, it totals about $12 bn in commitments and has been as high as $21 bn, he said.
Bonner is the service’s point man for Army foreign military sales in the Central Command region, which spans from Egypt through the Middle East north to Kazakhstan. Bonner’s organization receives requests from friendly governments for certain U.S. manufactured technology, which goes through a six-step process including negotiating the terms of a contract, gaining approval from U.S. authorities — including export licenses — and eventually delivery of the product.
The problem is that those six steps can take upwards of five years, he said.
“We are constantly hearing from combatant commanders, from the countries, that the process is too slow,” he said.
The first step goes relatively quickly. That is the part in which the Security Assistance Command is in control. A country requests a certain technology produced by a U.S. vendor. Then, Bonner’s team and the combatant command put together an endorsement. That can be turned around four to six months. That process once took much longer but has undergone a series of reforms to shorten it, he noted.
Next comes State Department or congressional approval if the contract amount exceeds certain monetary thresholds. The Security Assistance Command then develops a business case and negotiates the contract terms between the vendor and the customer. If the parties agree, the customer makes a deposit. That process normally takes another year, Bonner said.
Then, things tend to get bogged down, he said. It can take up to 725 business days to get under contract. “It’s the execution phase we need to focus on, not the development.”
Once the contract is signed, the sale runs into the same red tape that every defense acquisition program encounters, including the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations. They must develop requirements, undergo Defense Contracting Agency audits and inspections, and that doesn’t even include the time to actually manufacture the product, he said.
As for speeding up the execution phase, Bonner said State Department approvals and regulations like DFARS are “not going to go away.” Congress will maintain its accountability role.
“That’s a dark rail no one has even touched,” he said. “And no one in the Defense Department is going to push Congress to go way too fast. So, we just have to live with it,” he said.
Of course, there is a way to shorten the acquisition timeline for customers and U.S. businesses, Bonner noted. And that is to do a direct military sale. In that case, the company is on its own for negotiating and writing contracts and getting paid and doesn’t enjoy the “protection and security” the government provides.
“The time to do that is when the FMS process will not meet the [customer’s] timeline,” he added. (Source: glstrade.com/NDIA)
01 Nov 22. L3Harris Delivers 10,000th Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular to the US Army and Receives New Production Order.
- Goggles provide soldiers enhanced situational awareness, mobility and protection
- Brings imagery and data directly to the soldier’s eye enabling rapid decision-making
- Equips a ninth U.S. Army brigade with advanced night vision capabilities
L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) announced today delivering its 10,000th Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular to the U.S. Army and receiving a new production order for additional ENVG-Bs.
The recent delivery of nearly 600 ENVG-Bs to the Army’s Security Force Assistance Brigade closed out the Army’s initial 10,000 unit order, marking a major milestone in the company’s four-year-old ENVG-B program. The Security Force Assistance Brigade will be the ninth Army brigade to field L3Harris’ night vision system.
“In 2018, the U.S. Army selected L3Harris to develop and deliver a next-generation night vision goggle capability that would help protect and improve soldiers’ situational awareness and mobility,” said Lynn Bollengier, President, Integrated Vision Solutions, L3Harris. “Less than four years later, we have delivered 10,000 ENVG-Bs, a number that continues to climb as customer demand builds for this game-changing technology that enables soldiers to command the night.”
The combat-proven ENVG-B gives soldiers the ability to identify, assess and engage a target with greater accuracy and speed than any other night vision system currently in the field. Using advanced fusion technology and augmented reality capabilities, the ENVG-B provides soldiers critical situational awareness during low-light and night operations keeping them safe and mission effective.
A key component in a complete system that interfaces with the Army’s Family of Weapon Sights – Individual, ENVG-B offers seamless interoperability and data sharing from goggle to sight. This combination of advanced sensing and situational awareness provides the warfighter with a tactical advantage when conducting low-light and night missions.
The ENVG-B provides additional real-time battlespace intelligence for close-combat soldiers when connected with Falcon® IV tactical radios via the Intra-Soldier wireless network, bringing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance video directly to the goggle provides to speed target identification and provide an immersive battlespace perspective. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
03 Nov 22. SIONYX Launches OPSIN DNVM1. The new color night vision helmet-mounted monocular enhances tactical performance with digital
features that redefine night operations. SIONYX, a leader in color digital night vision technology, brings innovation to the
market with the introduction of OPSIN DNVM1, a helmet-mounted, color digital night vision monocular. OPSIN leverages SIONYX’s proprietary XQE-1350 Black Silicon sensor to deliver unmatched low-light
capabilities and bring a rich layer of natural detail and clarity to an operator’s night vision experience.Inspired by the U.S. DoD’s desire to integrate digital night vision into surveillance and navigation during low-light operations, OPSIN provides users low-light visibility well beyond human eyesight to observe,
detect, identify, and record targets of interest in moonless-starlight environments. Combined with digital display, recording, and navigation features, operations are more precise, efficient, and informative.
Heightened visual detail and critical data collection informs tactical decisions and refines intelligence – advanced capabilities you won’t find with traditional night vision. With an EAR99 classification and
jurisdiction, OPSIN is available globally, with minimal export restrictions for international military and law enforcement end users.
“Digitalnight vision is a nascent technology with exploding demand and endless opportunity to evolve,”
says Gio Lepore, Global Product Manager for SIONYX. “The rapid development of new technologies and increasing interconnectedness across defense systems demands digital night vision integration.
Operators today rely on technologies that improve their levels of situational awareness and intel with the least number of devices and maintenance. OPSIN paired with the companion mobile app also allows for flexible firmware updates, so as we develop our digital capabilities and improve image processing the unit
can be updated in the field – no need to acquire a new device.”
OPSIN is rich with digital features, with an extra-large 1920×1080 HD micro-OLED display and minimally designed menus and metadata overlays to keep the operator’s field of view broad and clear.
This wide, edge-to-edge field of view provides an immersive experience for the user for optimal situational awareness. The user-selectable frame rate, adjustable from 30/60/90 fps, offers imperceptible latency to adapt between moving or stand-and-stare operations. The operator can navigate and view current coordinates to maintain geo-awareness with the onboard digital magnetic compass and GPSantenna. OPSIN features a simple three-button interface with quick functions to navigate the internal
The companion mobile app will be available through Apple and Android app stores in the coming months. OPSIN will connect to the app via onboard WiFi and Bluetooth, allowing video streaming to the app and over-air firmware updates.
OPSIN offers flexible helmet mounting with a standard dovetail interface and included helmet mounting kit. The swing arm spans from the flip-up helmet mount to the operator’s eye that adjusts to and accommodates any operator. The mounting solution features a quick-release button that simplifies mounting and dismounting onto the mini rail, or the user can set the screw for a permanent installation.
The monocular can be used with either eye, with glasses or goggles, and offers ample eye relief with a
comfortable rubber eye cup. The objective lens is focusable, the eye diopter is adjustable, and the eyepiece provides 25 millimeters of eye relief for a comfortable fit. OPSIN arrives packaged in a waterresistant
custom MOLLE bag with the components necessary to get up and running immediately. Made of glass-reinforced polycarbonate, OPSIN is durable and lightweight at only 10.6 ounces or 301 grams. Along with the companion battery pack, the system creates a balanced helmet weight distribution
for low fatigue during missions. The sealed rechargeable battery extends operation time beyond eight hours with a full charge. OPSIN is drop-tested at two meters, passing beyond MIL standard, with an IP67
rating for safe use in harsh environments. The unit won’t be damaged when exposed to bright light and can function during the day for drills, training, and mission planning.
- Proprietary SIONYX XQE-1350 Black Silicon CMOS sensor
- Large high-definition AMOLED display (1920×1080)
- <1 millilux moonless-starlight sensitivity
- IP67 rated
- Shock and vibration tested
- 45° field of view
- 8-hour rechargeable battery
- Store up to 256GB of content onboard
01 Nov 22. Dedrone and Johnson Controls Collaborate to Deliver AI/ML-Powered Airspace Security Worldwide. Dedrone, the market leader in smart airspace security, and Johnson Controls, (NYSE: JCI), the global leader for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, have announced a strategic collaboration to address the security threats posed by unauthorized drone activity. As part of the collaboration, Dedrone’s state-of-the-art, counter-drone technology will be integrated into Johnson Controls product portfolio via an open Application Programming Interface (API), providing cloud-based airspace security as a service to customers worldwide.
“For counter-drone security to be effective, it cannot be siloed from the overall security measures and tools within an organization. Dedrone’s integration with Johnson Controls offers a complete airspace security solution that makes it easy to add counter-drone security, helping security industry leaders protect everything from critical infrastructure to correctional facilities, stadiums and event venues from airborne threats,” said Ben Wenger, chief revenue officer of Dedrone. “We’re proud to collaborate with Johnson Controls and are looking forward to providing counter-drone solutions for the persistent and escalating threat from drones.”
Johnson Controls offers industry-leading physical security products and services to its global customer base around the clock. Dedrone’s software and sensors will be integrated into Johnson Controls portfolio of Security Products which provides the ability for Command & Control (C2) to track and identify unauthorized drones, as well as identify the exact location of the operator(s) and enable the ability to dispatch first responders in real-time.
“Unauthorized drones have been increasingly used to exploit security at transportation hubs, large public venues, prisons and critical infrastructure facilities worldwide,” said Sanjeev Singh, vice president, Product & Program Management, Security Products, Johnson Controls. “That’s why we offer everything from access controls and command center solutions to AI-enabled video surveillance and intruder prevention for holistic, physical-security coverage. The threat of unauthorized drones has created a gap in security portfolios across numerous industries that needs immediate attention. Counter-drone security is a proactive solution to detect and reduce this threat.”
DedroneTracker is built on an Open Systems Architecture (OSA) allowing for easy integration to any third-party inputs including sensors, cameras, other Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (CsUAS) capabilities, and alternative mitigation solutions as well as C2 level systems. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
02 Nov 22. Teledyne FLIR Defense Launches MUVE R430 Drone Payload for Remote Radiation Detection.
- Newest addition to the MUVE payload family enables rapid, safer response to radiation threats and emergency situations
Teledyne FLIR Defense, part of Teledyne Technologies Incorporated (NYSE:TDY), announced today at CBRNE Convergence the launch of its new MUVE™ R430 drone sensor payload used to remotely detect and identify radiation sources and radiological hazards across a wide range of use scenarios.
The MUVE™ R430 is an advanced radiation detector purpose-designed for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to detect, locate, measure, map, and identify radioactive sources from above. Using the same field-proven technology and algorithms as Teledyne FLIR’s acclaimed identiFINDER® series of radionuclide identification devices, the R430 enables users to quickly pinpoint and accurately identify sources of radioactivity from a distance.
The Teledyne FLIR SkyRanger® R70 and R80D SkyRaider™ UAS serve as the initial deployment airframes for the new sensor payload. The R430 is integrated into the drone’s Mission Control Software and provides both visible and audible alerts of radioactivity. Using a familiar interface, R430 operators can easily create contamination maps, examine a dangerous source, and perform assessments in hard-to-reach places and environments, all while keeping at a safe distance. Ready to deploy in minutes, MUVE R430 balances size and weight, which makes it a versatile platform for diverse situations, including wide-area hazmat surveys, emergency response, and environmental monitoring.
“MUVE R430 brings the pedigree of our professionally trusted identiFINDER product line to the skies,” said Dr. David Cullin, vice president of technology and product management at Teledyne FLIR Defense. “Using a drone to remotely detect radiation means faster decision-making, safer conditions for civilian or military responders, and the likelihood of a better outcome for anyone in harm’s way. The R430 delivers full situational awareness that’s vital if and when a radiation event occurs – and could even prevent one.
“As a company, we continue to invest strategically in our full line of intelligent sensing technologies – for handheld devices as well as manned and unmanned platforms – to offer customers a complete mission solution,” Cullin added.
The R430 marks the third offering in Teledyne FLIR’s MUVE™ series of remote sensor payloads. In June, the company introduced the MUVE B330 drone payload that can be used to detect deadly biological agents and other airborne biohazards. It joined the MUVE C360 multi-gas detector, used to provide real-time continuous monitoring of chemical hazards, which can be deployed on both Teledyne FLIR as well as commercial UAS systems and robots. (Source: ASD Network)
31 Oct 22. U.S. Department of Defense Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office (JCO) Names and Recommends D-Fend Solutions’ EnforceAir C-sUAS to Protect Installations. D-Fend Solutions is proud to announce that EnforceAir has been recommended by the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office (JCO). EnforceAir was named and recommended as a subcomponent integrated within SAIC’s Valkyrie C2 system.
EnforceAir was recognized for its RF detection and mitigation, its demonstrated impressive effectors and its ability to force-land specific named drones. D-Fend Solutions’ EnforceAir was the only named RF cyber takeover technology.
The JCO recommendations came out of a formal U.S. Government evaluation event held at Yuma Proving Ground in April 2022.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by the U.S. DoD Joint C-sUAS Office, following a rigorous demonstration and evaluation” said Zohar Halachmi, Chairman and CEO of D-Fend Solutions. “We’re excited to provide continued support for the counter-drone mission, within a layered defense, integrated in the most advanced C-UAS systems for the nation’s defense.”
SAIC® is a premier Fortune 500® technology integrator driving technology transformation with a robust portfolio of offerings across the defense, space, civilian and intelligence to deliver innovative, effective and efficient solutions that are critical to achieving customer missions.
The Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office (JCO), established by the Secretary of the Army in February 2020, leads and directs joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-sUAS) doctrine, requirements, material and training to establish joint solutions to address current and future small UAS threats.
ABOUT D-FEND SOLUTIONS
D-Fend Solutions is the leading counter-drone, cyber-takeover technology provider, enabling full control, safety and continuity during rogue drone incidents across complex and sensitive environments, to overcome both current and emerging drone threats. With hundreds of deployments worldwide, EnforceAir, the company’s flagship offering, focuses on the most dangerous drone threats in the military, public safety, airport, prison, major event and critical infrastructure environments. D-Fend Solutions’ technology has been chosen as best-in-class and is in deployment at top-tier U.S. government agencies – including with U.S. military, federal law enforcement and homeland security – as well as major international airports globally. EnforceAir autonomously executes RF, cyber-takeovers of rogue drones for a safe landing and outcome, ensuring the smooth flow of communications, commerce, transportation and everyday life. (Source: PR Newswire)
31 Oct 22. Thales Launches its NextGen Minerva Dual-band Camera in High-definition. The future of Thales’ uncooled thermal imaging sensors has arrived with the new HD Minerva, an integral part of Driver’s Vision Enhancement and Situational Awareness systems. Providing drivers, commanders and crews of tactical and combat vehicles with unparalleled sensitivity, image quality and situational awareness, Minerva equips them to operate safely and effectively day and night, under severely degraded battlefield conditions.
Incorporating 1280 x 1024-resolution HD detectors – a rarity in uncooled devices – that provide 2x more pixels than VGA sensors, Minerva’s HD detectors allow users to see better and further than the enemy. Users can trust the live images to give them the information they need to act fast, feel safe, and gain a crucial tactical advantage.
Designed and manufactured by Thales in Canada, home to Thales’ global centre of excellence for uncooled technologies, Minerva integrates state of the art, uncooled Long Wave Infrared (LWIR) HD 1280×1024, 12-micron detector and a full HD 1920×1080 visible module. Minerva’s sensor outputs fully digital 60 Hz video (3G-SDI), and its low-latency and automatic image processing algorithms ensure users experience no delays in optimizing situational awareness without needing to make adjustments.
“Soldiers today face fast-changing conditions and growing complexity. Mission success and survivability often depend on the ability to act first and act fast – based on data and information they can trust. The integration of HD into the Minerva significantly boosts performance for threat identification and recognition, enabling users to see better, further and faster than their adversaries – all of which are critical in decisive moments.” Manny Maes, General Manager, Optronics, Thales Canada
(Source: ASD Network)
26 Oct 22. Liteye and Numerica among contractors providing counter drone capabilities to US government. The US Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office (JCO) recently selected three approved counter drone solutions after evaluating a range of technologies at Yuma Proving Ground. In response to the proliferation of small unmanned aerial vehicles (sUAS) coupled with the threats to service members and critical infrastructure, the Department of Defense (DoD), in partnership with industry, is looking to acquire C-UAS via a Counter-UAS as a Service (CaaS) model. CaaS is defined as Contractor Owned Government Operated (COGO) or Contractor Owned Contractor Operated (COCO) solutions enabling the Department to effectively Detect, Identify, Track and Defeat adversarial UAS’ while meeting critical affordability and funding realities.
Liteye was chosen as an important part of the SAIC team to protect fixed locations under the CaaS model. In partnership with Team SAIC, Liteye successfully demonstrated its Counter Unmanned Arial Systems (C-UAS) capabilities and is now eligible to compete for future CaaS contract opportunities. According to the Liteye press release:
The Liteye SHIELD system consists of the Spyglass radar system developed and manufactured by Numerica Corporation, along with HD EO/IR optics and RF Detection, Take-Over, and Defeat capabilities. The SHIELD system can operate as a stand-alone system, be remotely operated, or be integrated into a higher-level Command and Control solutions.
During the demonstration, Spyglass radar performed long-range small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) detection and precision tracking to support threat mitigation by SHIELD’s directional RF defeat and the Aeroguard drone capture system.
Spyglass radar provides long-range detection and tracking of Group 1 and 2 UAS, delivering high-precision tracks through its Ku-Band phased array technology and advanced signal processing. Earlier this year Spyglass radar was tested as part of the U.S. Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office’s (RCCTO) C-sUAS High Energy Laser (HEL) prototyping program and was also demonstrated to support engagements of sUAS by a precision high-power microwave weapon. For more information visit: www.liteye.com; www.numerica.us/spyglass (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
251 Oct 22. US Army “takes delivery of anti-drone ammunition for Stryker defence.” The US news service Task and Purpose has reported the US Army has begun fielding a new ‘proximity’ airburst round to its Stryker force for use against incoming airborne drone threats.
“Developed by defense contractor Northrop Grumman and dubbed the XM1211 High Explosive Proximity (HEP) cartridge, each 30×113 mm round comes outfitted with a tiny radio-frequency sensor that detects unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and explodes, giving soldiers a better chance at destroying an airborne target than relying on a direct hit.
The XM1211 is planned for with the M230LF Bushmaster chain gun adopted as the XM914 weapon system for both Army’s Maneuver Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) Stryker vehicles and the Marine Corps’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle-focused Marine Air Defense Integrated Future Weapons System (MADIS) project.
According to Northrop Grumman:
“The 30mm x 173mm airburst cartridge will feature a contact set fuze design with three operational fuze modes: Programmable Airburst, Point Detonation and Point Detonation with Delay. The initial contract will fund the completion of the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase and final qualification by the Army….The newly fielded gun system nearly doubles the range of the platform’s current .50-caliber machine gun. The addition of an airburst cartridge provides a complete family of ammunition that arms the crew to meet the challenges posed by peer and near-peer adversarial threat systems.”
For more information
BATTLESPACE Comment: This ammunition is also used in the C-UAS system using the Echodyne EchoGuard radar sold to several customers around the world. Watch the video on the BATTLESPACE website.
31 Oct 22. UK Spends £1bn on Drone Contracts to Monitor Channel.
The UK government has spent more than £1bn on contracts for surveillance technology to spot migrants crossing the English Channel.
The Home Office has spent more than £1bn on surveillance technologies, including drones and “near real-time” situational awareness platforms, in the last five years, according to an analysis of procurement data by Tech Monitor that can be found here.
“The UK government has spent more than a bn pounds on surveillance technology in the past five years, including a contract worth up to £1bn on drones to spot migrants crossing the English Channel.”
The expenditure, as highlighted by Tech Monitor, from 2017-2021 is shown below.
The largest contract was won by Tekever, a Portuguese defence technology company which specialises in unmanned aircraft systems. In 2019, the company was awarded a three-year contract worth up to £1bn by the Home Office “to enhance maritime awareness”.
This contract is set to end on 30 September this year. However, the contract was recently renewed for a period lasting from 1 Oct 2022 to 30 Nov 2022.
Tekever’s UK managing director Paul Webb revealed that the Home Office uses its products for migrant surveillance.
“Every day, dozens of asylum seekers and refugees set off on the dangerous journey across the English Channel to reach British soil, but small boats and treacherous conditions mean many lives are in danger along the way. We are proud to be a partner of UK authorities in fighting this kind of illegal human traffic. Drones can identify humans in distress in a much faster way and help rescue teams”, said Paul Weeb, TEKEVER UK Managing director.
The firm is operating its own AR5 system over the channel, a twin-engine fixed wing UAV designed for maritime surveillance missions. The AR5 can fly for more than 12 hours, and carry multiple payloads, including maritime radars, synthetic aperture radars, day and night cameras and AIS and EPIRB receivers. The specific payload package used to survey the Channel allows it to “cover vast areas, detecting and recognizing potentially illegal vessels, and then track and identify them, providing the authorities with real time and highly accurate intelligence”. (Source: UAS VISION/UK Defence Journal
28 Oct 22. US Army’s Q-53 Multi-Mission Radar Demos Counter-UAS Mission. The U.S. Army’s AN/TPQ-53 (Q-53) Multi-Mission Radar (MMR) successfully integrated with an Army command and control system and provided tracking data to launch a counter unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) defeat system in Yuma, Arizona. The rapidly deployable Q-53 radar, which is ideal for the C-UAS mission, is developed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) in Syracuse, New York.
During the exercise, the Q-53 integrated with the Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control (FAAD C2) system to serve as the primary fire control source for the Coyote Block 2 C-UAS defeat system during testing in Yuma.
“The Q-53 radar has a long history of exceeding Army requirements and adapting to their evolving missions. This recent testing milestone reflects our ongoing commitment to enhance and upgrade the system capability,” said David Kenneweg, program director, Lockheed Martin Army Radars. “The Army’s Q-53 MMR can enhance air surveillance capabilities and integrate with C2 systems and broader weapon systems, enabling Soldiers to detect threats and make decisions faster.”
Lockheed Martin has delivered 195 Q-53 radars to the Army and international partners. The Q-53 detects, classifies, tracks and determines the location of enemy indirect fire such as mortars, rockets and artillery, and its mission continues to expand to other emerging threats.
Modernization for 21st Century Security
The Q-53 radar has high reliability and its performance drives the Army’s desire to modernize the radar and continue to expand the system’s mission requirements. In July 2021, the U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin a significant follow-on contract to demonstrate the ability of the Q-53 radars to enhance future capability and maintain superior performance over peer and near-peer adversaries.
These enhancements enable increased radar performance in challenging operating environments. Upgrades include support for Long Range Precision Fires and Air and Missile Defense missions. The Q-53 capabilities are key enablers for these missions and represent continued dedication to the advancement of technology in this space. (Source: ASD Network)
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